Syracuse v Louisville

Forward C.J. Fair preparing to take the next step for Syracuse

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Syracuse won 34 games and a regular season Big East title last season, but it fell short of the Final Four with a loss to Ohio State in the Elite 8.

With three of their top four scorers (not to mention center Fab Melo) moving on, the Orange will need some players to make the transition from role player to major contributor.

One of those will be junior forward C.J. Fair, who along with new Cleveland Cavalier Dion Waiters was Syracuse’s most consistent option off the bench last season.

The Baltimore native may not have started many games but with an average of 26.4 minutes per contest Fair was one of Syracuse’s most important players.

The question now: can he slide into the starring role opened up by the departure of starting wing Kris Joseph?

Fair hopes to use his experiences at both the Kevin Durant and  LeBron James skills academies to his advantage in working towards that goal.

“Yes I’ve moved up to the wing,” said Fair in an interview with on Saturday afternoon. “Coach [Jim Boeheim] expects a lot out of me this season, and I think I’m ready for that challenge.”

Fair’s already a rather versatile player when it comes to what he’s able to do on the floor.

But his junior campaign will bring along the expanded responsibilities (and opportunities) that weren’t there with the likes of Joseph, Waiters, Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche  working on the perimeter.

“The camps have helped me out a lot, especially the Kevin Durant camp,” said Fair. “I learned more about how to get open there, which is important now that I’ll be a focus of the scouting report.”

In two seasons at Syracuse, Fair has shot 49.3% from the field but the three-point percentage of 25.9% is something that he’s working on improving this summer along with his handle.

He’ll get more chances to score, and the workouts and camps this summer will go a long way in making sure that he’s capable of taking advantage.

Fair will also replace Joseph in another department, as he and sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams (“The Mike and C.J. Show”) will take over what was the Syracuse Post-Standard’s “Scoop and Kris Show.”

Syracuse fans hope that the adjustments will happen without any difficulties, and given Fair’s talent there should be little doubt as to whether or not he’s up to the task.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Demetris Morant out 3-4 months

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Florida Gulf Coast redshirt junior forward Demetris Morant is expected to miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery last week to repair a stress fracture in his right shin, the school announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 4.5 points, 4.4 blocks and 1.3 blocks per game in 33 appearances (18 starts) for the Eagles during the 2014-15 season.

“This is obviously an unfortunate setback for Demetris, but it was a procedure that needed to be done,” Florida Gulf Coast head coach Dooley said in a statement. “We decided it would be best to have it completed now to hopefully get him back for A-Sun play. It’s an opportunity now for other guys to step up in his absence, and I have confidence they’ll get the job done.”

The Eagles have the top frontline in the Atlantic Sun, one that returns Marc-Eddy Norelia and Filip Cvjeticanin, a 3-point shooter who missed all of last season recovering from back surgery. VCU transfer Antravious Simmons becomes eligible in the second semester.

Florida Gulf Coast begins the 2015-16 season on Nov. 14 against Ohio.

Bill Self on Cheick Diallo: ‘It may be a couple of more weeks’

2015 McDonald's All American Game
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Cheick Diallo is currently practicing with Kansas, but his eligibility still remains in question.

On Monday, Kansas head coach Bill Self appeared on “The Border Patrol” on WHB-AM 810 and was asked to update the status of his freshman big man.

“He’s been cleared to practice,” Self told hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty. “(His status) is depending on what they find throughout from the information we submit to them whenever we get it all together.

“A lot of people think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t it all be together?’ Well there’s a lot of reasons why. It’s because they told us recently some things that they just wanted. Instead of just throwing it to them piece by piece, they requested we to just submit it all together, so it may be a couple of more weeks before we’re able to submit everything when you’re talking about getting information from schools in Mali and everything like that.

“But we hope in two weeks, maybe three weeks, before we have a definite answer. But right now, Cheick is like everybody else. He’s practicing.”

Diallo, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mali is allowed to practice with the Jayhawks, but has been waiting to be cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center despite enrolling in classes over the summer and earning six credits. Self anticipated this would be a long process, but has remained confident Diallo, the top-5 recruit in Class of 2015, will eventually be cleared to play this season.

For three years, Diallo attended Our Savior New American School in Centereach, New York, which is currently under NCAA review. In September, Pitt freshman Damon Wilson, Diallo’s teammate at OSNA, was cleared to play.

Kansas opens the season on Nov. 13 against Northern Colorado.